Tips to Attract Beneficial Insects to Your Garden
We can all use a little help sometimes and what I found to be so amazing about that little help is how it can pay off in huge ways, when it comes to our fall garden the seem is true. Garden insect pests are not hunkering down for the colder months at least not as yet but are very active in many home gardens getting their fill and storing up for the winter season.
We must be vigilant in doing all that we can to ensure that garden insects pest does not turn our dream gardens into a nightmare, pesticides can be used to bring control but there are other alternatives ( biological) that have proven to be just as effective especially if you’re growing and edible garden. What we don’t want is food contamination by the use of harmful chemicals but taking a safer approach which is turning to the good (beneficial insects) guys for their support. The best part is not having to pay a dim for their help except to create the right environment that will attract them like a magnet. In this article, we will be looking at such insects and methods that have proven to be beneficial.
The Right Choice of Plants
Installing a lot of the right plants into your fall garden will get the attention of beneficial insects, some of these plants include zinnias, zinnias are drought-tolerant plants that produce daisy-like flowers. These garden beauties will give that color pop for more on the care of zinnias plants refer to zinnia flower care, Marigold is another beauty that will fill your fall garden with colors, this flowering plant will brighten your garden. The roots of marigolds release a chemical that is toxic to the eggs of nematodes.
Coneflower is an amazing flowering plant that can withstand heat and drought, coneflower will attract beneficial insects such as predatory wasps, and paranoid flies. Yarrows are nectar-producing plants that will not only attract pollinators but beneficial insects for example predatory wasps, lady beetles, lacewings, and syrphid flies. The goldenrod plant is considered to be a “medical plant” and is also known to attract beneficial insects such as soldier beetles, bees, tachinid flies, beneficial wasps, and syrphid.
Other Plants that Attract Beneficial Insects
- Creeping Thyme
- Sweet Alyssum
There are many dark sides to weeds but there is also a bright side to weeds, leaving a small patch of weeds will contribute to the diversity of plants and will attract a variety of insects including many of the good bugs.
Avoid the Use of Harmful Pesticides
Getting beneficial insects into your garden is one thing keeping them there is another, as we discussed earlier the use of harmful chemicals is a no-no, but if the use of pesticides is a must because of the number of garden pests ( on ornamental and shrubs, not edible plants) apply sprays doing the evening hours when beneficial insects are least active. Remember to also read and follow the manufacturer’s directions
The use of less toxic rapidly degradable pesticides should be considered, ” there are many of the newer pesticides that have a faster residual time which gives the required time to reduce the activity of the chemical to safer levels for beneficial insects”.
Organic pesticides have made their mark since their inception and are highly praised especially when treating edible plants, the downside when using these chemicals is having a negative impact on beneficial insects again if you can, apply spray applications during the evening hours when beneficial insects are less active.
3 Categories of Beneficial Insects
Although there are thousands of beneficial insects that are broken down into basically three categories.
- Pollinators-These insects include flies, moths, bees, and butterflies, they are responsible for helping to pollinate flowering plants, bees also produce honey that’s good for our health and loved by many
- Parasitizers-Are predators that eliminate garden pest by laying their eggs on the inside of the host insects, once the eggs hatch the larva use the insides of the insect pests as a food source. Parasitic wasps fit this category
- Predators-Are a group of insects that feeds on garden insect pests
Bonus Point just for You
Make sure to use native plants that are native to your zone or location that will attract beneficial insects in your area.
The final word on how to attract beneficial to your garden
Getting beneficial insects not only to pay your fall garden a visit but to use your garden as a harbourage is easy, these steps will have your fall garden teeming with good bugs that will police and protect your plants by using the bad bugs as a food source. These wonders of nature are a natural and safe way not only to assist with the control of garden pests but biodiversity and also to discourage the use of harmful pesticides that will promote a healthy ecosystem while impacting our environment in a positive way.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.